Children Living Amid Crisis Face Grave Threats - With Child Protection Processes Under Strain

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A protective layer

Research Lead
“Seeds sees the community as a protective layer around children. We believe that bringing people together to address child protection issues can serve to strengthen vital structures damaged by humanitarian crisis.”

Rinske Ellermeijer, Seeds Lead Researcher

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Want to learn more or ask a question? Contact Rinske via email or LinkedIn.


System strain

  • Some 50 million children living in crisis situations are in need of protection - yet the protective mechanisms that serve to protect them are under strain.
  • Innovative solutions to meet child protection challenges in low- and middle-income countries are urgently required.
  • Research into strengthening child protection systems is increasing - yet significant gaps remain with regard to boosting community ownership and sustainability.


Seeds draws on a 'deep community process'.

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This approach builds on the intrinsic motivation of community members to keep children safe. Power and decision-making lays with the community and as the implementing agency we play a facilitative role. Because initiatives are locally owned and managed by the community using their own ideas, they have the potential to bring about lasting change.



Community ownership is the extent to which communities have strong concerns about issues that affect children, see work to support vulnerable children as their own responsibility and engage in self-motivated action to improve children's lives. It is the most important component of effective and sustainable community-led action (source). Seeds is designed to draw on this potential - using a method that is truly embedded within communities living in the midst of crisis and armed conflict.



The effectiveness of Seeds has been tested in Sri Lanka and War Child programme country Colombia. We are now exploring options to conduct an evaluation.


Our partners

The Seeds approach is being developed and tested together with Save the Children.

In Colombia, we value the support of Universidad de Los Andes - our local research partner.



Approximately one billion children experience violence each year, making violence against children a global crisis (source)

Current research

Ready for scale

A feasibility study to assess the relevance and sustainability of the approach was recently finalised in Colombia. The data is currently being analysed and changes will be made to the method accordingly.

Next steps


Fundraising is underway to allow for the implementation of an effectiveness study of the method. During this evaluation, outcomes of the approach will be measured.

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Meet our Research and Development Team

Rinske Ellermeijer leads the development of the Seeds intervention. Rinske is a member of War Child’s Research and Development team, where she works to develop and strengthen child protection interventions for use in humanitarian settings. Rinske has more than a decade's experience working in the child protection sector and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Amsterdam.